Do not neglect early marketing

Lessons learned from Fitdo
Do not neglect early marketing

My beliefs below may seem a bit bold. Yet, I think they are fundamental

startup principles expressed in a personal way. Enjoy.

If you can dream it, you can build it!

.. was an idea we clinged to at Fitdo for a long time. Building kick-ass

products is great, but it doesn’t get you very far unless you are solving a

real problem (Note: I believe it’s important to build kick-ass products, as

its a prerequisite for survival in the long haul).

 

Most great products, create a rather big shift in paradigm to the

customers. Customers are prone to hate products that dramatically

change aspects of their life. Building the product and trying to convince

customers how genius it is will not work.

 

Henry Ford said: “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to

do.”

 

Customers want bang for the buck now! You must ensure that you deliver

the product in a way so it immediately fits into the customers life. If that

wasnt enough, you will need to convince them too. Henry Ford knew

people wanted faster horses (or at least some did), so he gave them

something that was faster, yet still affordable -cars.

henry

Suppliers and YOUR willpower

Being a two-sided platform, Fitdo has experienced the typical chicken/egg

problem from the very beginning. We simply didn’t get enough suppliers

(chickens) on board.

 

At the time I didn’t even have the domain fitdo.com, only fit-do.com and

some very basicmock-ups (to put it gently). I decided to leave my former

office in order to go out and speak with potential suppliers, whom I

pitched my “project” to (I had no CVR).

 

Do you think they were hesitant about joining? You bet!

kylle

How did I get out of that pickle? I aimed for action. I decided to hire a

former tech start-up CEO to coach me and bring a couple of developers

into play. We managed to develop the concept further, we went to Silicon

Valley with the ScaleIT program to pitch the idea in the states, get all the

feedback we could get and learn faster. Nothing was planned down to

detail, we just focused on pure execution.

 

All of these actions combined made it easier for us to get attention from

potential suppliers. Momentum was rising and I was able to get interns to

join and hire people to work for free or cheaper, since the project and the

founder was now perceived as cool (yes I am).

 

As I developed as a founder and I quickly became better at conveying

people. Working hard is one thing, but taking the right decisions is

another. In order to succeed you have to find a way to balance the two.

 

Pre-launch, launch and big-LAUNCH

While we are indeed building amazing software (that is our big-LAUNCH)

within health, apps and publishing, we have also come to realize the

importance of preparing years ahead.

 

In our case, first launching an ecommerce webshop and selling tangible

Fitness plans, Lifestyle guides, Nutrition plans, E-books etc.. The current

shop allows us to work and build trust both with our customers and

suppliers long before we introduce our software.

 

All in all, our journey has taught us three things: Start talking to

customers as soon as possible! (I cannot stress the importance of this),

take the necessary precautions that will help you take the right

forthcoming steps and start thinking long-term from the get go.

 

Emil Sørensen

emil@fitdo.com